Anise Spice Profile
Posted by Rebekah Wicke on 8/7/18
What is Anise?
Anise seeds come from the Pimpinella anisum plant which is widely cultivated in Southern Europe, Asia, North Africa and Mexico. It is an annual herb which grows to a height of 2 to 3 feet with bright green leaves. Clusters of white flowers grow at the stem ends of the anise plant producing small greenish gray seeds. The seeds are crescent shaped and ribbed with course “hairs” giving them a rough texture.
Like many other spices, anise is a member of the parsley family. It is unique, however, in its distinctive licorice-like aroma and flavor. Although true licorice actually comes from the roots of the Glycyrrhiza glabra plant, anise is often used as a licorice flavoring in confections and alcoholic beverages. Historically, anise was often used to mask the flavor of medicines due to its licorice-like flavor. The spice has also had a wide variety of medicinal and other uses ranging from an aphrodisiac to a digestive aid to a preventer of evil dreams.
What is it used for today?
Ground anise is used in confections such as biscotti, coffee cakes and sweetened yeast breads. More often, however, it is a component of seasonings for Italian sausage, pepperoni, knockwurst or other prepared meats. In meats, anise is also used in its cracked form for added texture and flavor.
- Fuchs Admin